Health, according to the World Health Organization, consists of “the absence of illness and disease.” A wide variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. These definitions, however, have consistently included physical well-being as a fundamental component of good health. For most people, good health means having a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding dangerous environmental factors such as tobacco smoke and excessive air pollution. Below are some additional general concepts that you may find useful when considering the quality of your health:
Risk/Risk Assessment: This is the process of identifying risks from existing information about potential diseases and trying to identify preventive measures to lower the chance of having an occurrence of those diseases. In the public health context, risk/risk assessment usually involves gathering epidemiological data on health and attempting to predict future disease cases based on past patterns. This definition can extend to include other types of demographic or sociological information, such as birth history, education, occupational classifications, and life-course study. When dealing with public health risks, it is essential to keep in mind that there is considerable intergenerational transmission of diseases, so the definition of “risk” can be somewhat fluid from one generation to the next.
Exposure/ Exposure Definition: The definition of “exposure” has been described as “the probability of getting some kind of physical harm from exposure to things that are harmful or hazardous.” In the context of health, exposure means any threat or potential threat to your health, which can result from exposure to diseases, pollutants, or other agents. This definition can include both natural and manmade exposures, such as exposure to chemicals in the workplace or during sexual activity. Examples of agents or pathogens that can cause disease include cigarette smoke, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides.
Healthy expectancy: A healthy expectancy refers to living a long and healthy life, with no age-related disabilities. Healthy expectancy is important because people with disability have a lower quality of life. Living a long and healthy life is possible, even for those with a disability, as long as one takes preventative measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, participating in activities of daily living, and following recommended dietary and lifestyle practices. By making sure that you are physically active, getting the proper amount of sleep, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, you can greatly increase your quality of life and prolong your life.
Quality-of-Life Definition: This third definition is the most flexible, because it is directly related to life expectancy. This focuses on three aspects of life: physical health, emotional health, and social and economic health. It can also include disability, morbidity, mortality, functional capacity, and survival. Healthy and morbidity definitions consider both the presence and the impact of diseases, illness, and mortality. They also take into account quality of life, which can be categorized into four areas: freedom from disability, ability to lead a life of dignity, satisfaction with life, and the experience of social connection and community support.
The fourth element is functional capacity, which is another very important element of the definition. This is often called “the capacity to function normally and to carry out the functions necessary for life.” It requires you to be able to move around, to breathe, to eat, and to perform day to day activities. A person who has a healthy definition of functional capacity has high levels of self-esteem, self-confidence, a positive attitude about life, and active involvement in community life. It is important to note, however, that the promotion of good health also involves the prevention of diseases through healthy diet, exercise, and other interventions.